7 Tips for Building Online Classes
Thanks to the technology that we have today, delivering education outside of a physical classroom setting became feasible. So, if you’re planning to create a business plan or proposal to start offering online classes, now is the perfect time to do it. But, before you integrate online classes in your private school, learn a few tips for building them first. In this blog, we’re going to walk you through seven basic tips for establishing online classes.
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7 Tips for Building Online Classes
Research the Demand for Online Classes in Your Locality
Although online classes are becoming a norm in the education industry, the majority still prefer traditional classes. So, before preparing a budget, research the demand level for online classes in your area. You have to match the number of online classes you’ll offer with the demand level. For instance, if you find that many students are looking for online classes in your city or state, you can offer many of them under your school’s name. If there are only a few, then you should offer fewer online classes. It would be a waste of your school’s funding to open too many online classes with only a few students.
Start with a Few Courses
Your school administrators and faculty will still be adjusting to online classes once they’re available. It’ll take some time to get used to a remote learning setup. Probably, a few weeks or months is how long it’ll take them to get the hang of facilitating online classes. Well, in that case, it’s best to offer a few courses in the meantime. Your school needs to test the waters first before going all out.
Offer the most in-demand courses so that you can get more students despite opening only a few. You can start adding more courses once your online classes garner popularity. But for that to happen, you have to create effective advertising or marketing strategies to sell them to students. And also, you can offer more courses when your teachers got the hang of conducting online classes.
Choose a Reliable Learning Management System
Building standard online classes wouldn’t be possible without a learning management system (LMS). LMSs are software applications that make online classes faster and more convenient. With an LMS, online teachers will have an easier time tracking, administering, and evaluating their students’ progress. So, to optimize the quality of your online classes, make sure to choose a reliable LMS software.
Here are several reputable LMS software applications that have positive reviews:
- Google Classroom
- LearnUpon LMS
- Looop LMS
- Adobe Captive Prime
- SAP Litmos LMS
There is a plethora of other LMS software available that are just as good. Just select one that works best for your teachers. Using LSM software apps is quite expensive. But, the money you’ll invest in one will generate enormous returns for your school.
Provide Resources to Your Online Teachers
Although your teachers are likely capable of providing for themselves, it should still be part of your school’s to-do checklist to provide them with resources. If the majority of them don’t have a laptop, issue one for each of them, and not just laptops, but also high-quality earphones, microphones, and webcams. On top of that, your school should pay for the teachers’ home internet connection; that’s if they will be working at home. Keep in mind that schools that don’t support the needs of their teachers are putting themselves in a bad light. So, make sure to devise budgeting strategies to provide all the necessary resources for your online teachers.
Limit the Number of Students Per Class
According to an analysis stated in the University of the Potomac’s website, 97% of online schools keep a 25:1 student-to-professor ratio in their online classes. Why do they do that? Well, that’s because it ensures that students will receive a more personalized evaluation or assessment from their online teachers. That said, you should limit the number of students per class. We understand that you’ll be trying to maximize student enrollment. But, too many students per class can affect the conduciveness of learning.
You can follow the majority of online schools’ 25:1 ratio. However, it would be better to lower it a bit, such as a 20:1 ratio. A 30:1 ratio could also work, but going beyond that could make things less convenient for both students and teachers.
Implement Active Interaction
Online classes shouldn’t be like free online courses where students just read, do quick exercises, answer 20-item exams, and done for the day. There’s no learning and development in that. In online classes, teachers and students have to interact actively, just like in a classroom setup. Tell your faculty that part of the agreement in teaching online is engaging the students as if it’s a traditional class. Students should also have the chance to speak up and participate in online lectures verbally.
Aside from lectures, you must let teachers prepare activities that encourage students to collaborate with their online peers. The bottom line is to make online classes close to a classroom setup. So even though the teachers and students are far apart, they can establish a strong social bond and camaraderie. Those two are essential for an effective learning environment, or in this case, an online learning environment.
Ask Teachers to Make Themselves Look Presentable
One of the terms of your teachers’ work contract is to look professional in conducting classes. Well, that rule should also apply when they teach online. Despite not teaching face to face with students, teachers still must make themselves presentable on camera. They should still wear their usual semi-formal attires and fix their overall physical appearance. In other words, they have to look respectable for the students. Try to imagine receiving news that one of your teachers had a woke-up-like-this appearance and was still wearing pajamas handling classes online, it’s quite embarrassing, right?
There’s a lot of work to be done in starting a school innovation, such as offering online classes. For one, the quotation or tuition fee rates of online classes are lower, so you should work on maximizing the revenue they can generate as much as possible. However, if your school can pull them off successfully, its branding could stand out amongst other schools. And potentially, online classes could make your school a more profitable educational institution.